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In re Callan

Decided: December 17, 1973.

IN THE MATTER OF MICHAEL CALLAN, HARRIS DAVID AND GERALD CLARK, CHARGED WITH CONTEMPT OF COURT


Leonard, Allcorn and Crahay.

Per Curiam

Appellants, all members of the bar, appeal from a judgment of conviction of contempt of court, from the trial court's denial of their motion to vacate the judgment and from the sentences imposed. Each was sentenced to 30 days in the county jail, which sentence was suspended and each was placed on one year's probation and fined $500.

Appellants raise the following legal contentions:

I -- They were denied fundamental procedural due process in that they were never apprised with sufficient certainty of the nature and cause of the accusation against them.

II -- They were denied their right not to be proceeded against summarily for contempt except by a member of the judiciary.

III -- Assuming that the charge tried by the prosecutor was properly within the order to show cause then the trial court had no jurisdiction in the matter because the prosecutor charged nothing more than a violation by an attorney of a disciplinary rule.

IV -- The State failed to charge an offense under the summary contempt power as defined by In Re Szczepanik, 37 N.J. 503 (1962).

V -- The trial court committed prejudicial error by applying a definition of the offense of contempt manifestly erroneous under State law.

VI -- The substantive common law standard for the offense of contempt is vague and indefinite in violation of the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

VII -- They fully complied with the disciplinary rules.

VIII -- If their professional conduct was in compliance with the disciplinary rules, then they could not properly be convicted for contempt on the basis of such conduct consistent with the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

IX -- They cannot properly be convicted of contempt of court for failure to disclose information which they had a ...


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